Morning by Morning (12/30/16)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Having 4 days still left on vacation! Woohoo!
  2. Participating in the Kristen Weigers/Jacob Schapson wedding festivities today in Round Rock.  What a great (and tall) couple whom I have been ever privileged to get to know in their prep for the wedding.
  3. The mini disc golf course Stephen found in Pearland.  It’s a nice little park to fill the need on short timed days.
  4. The connection my parents share with Belinda, my mother in law. I appreciate and love how they interact and care for one another.
  5. The ways in which my parents still love on me with gifts and spoiling my kids and just laughing together.

Morning by Morning (12/27/16)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. A great Christmas Day, which we celebrated on the 26th, so that family and Aiden could all be a part of holiday time.  My Dad and I made breakfast of pancakes, eggs, bacon, and fruit.  Family watched and played with the kids.  And there was lots of joy, excitement, and love present in our house that morning!
  2. Watching Ryan play with Aiden and my parents.  His experience, mind, and joy just keeps growing!
  3. The continuing Christmas season (there are 12 days you know!) that provides plenty of family, fun, and joy in the arrival of Christ most importantly.
  4. Bacon. Done.  You know you agree!
  5. Green chilies!

Morning by Morning (12/24/16)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. My SoCal family’s Christmas Eve gathering.  I will miss it but cherish it so much as I wait on Christmas in Houston.
  2. A marvelous breakfast with good friends Stephen and Dawn Marie Lucas.  They love my family so much and I delight in their presence and joy!
  3. The slight changes of color that our Houston trees have shown.  It’s not the Northeast, but it is a nice small reminder of life’s changes and simple beauties around me.
  4. The children playing in the neighborhood- beautiful voices, especially on this holiday weekend!

Morning by Morning (12/23/16)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Christmas vacation! Finally here! 11 days of family and much needed time away from an ICU!
  2. Randomly seeing “Jimmy” as the word of the day on Words with Friends app.  That’s what people in California know me as, what my family calls, and my grandpas nickname too.  A little memory and nostalgia to appreciate today.
  3. The little gifts and Sectet Santas that made this season so nice.  I received a bunch of little but meaningful gifts and gestures of love!
  4. The kids at the hospital whose strength, whose hope, whose presence I very much appreciate and thank God for. They bring joy to me.
  5. This one kid in Oncology about Ryan’s age who hasn’t been waving hi or bye to anyone but waved to me today.  He gave a perfectly timed gift to me- thanks little man!

Morning by Morning (12/22/16)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. 2 days left of work till a long 10 day vacation at home.  The time off and low stress of home time will be more than welcomed! And my parents are coming into town too!
  2. Seeing all the wonderful pictures of families, couples, kids, and other adventures during the Christmas season. It brings out the joy of Christmas through images funny and heartfelt alike!
  3. Watching the new TCH building going up slowly that I will be working in.  I have been a little kid, mesmerized by the size and architectural design and seeing all the cranes, tractors, trucks, and machinery. 
  4. Laying in bed while Ryan sleeps and feeling little stress this morning.  It’s an awesome feeling!

Morning by Morning (12/20/16)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. My bone marrow donation process.  It has helped me see what donors go through and a little bit of insight into the investment and feelings of hope and desperation families must feel.
  2. See’s candies.  Got some from my brother and I love those nut and chews one.  I know it’s silly but they are delicious!
  3. The friends that surround and support Elana, my wife, including: Mikey, Luci, Andrea, Samantha, Brandi, Chelsea, Dawn Marie, and Sara, etc.  These are great people who I truly treasure for how they show love and care to Elana.
  4. The opportunities to celebrate progress of a child with parents at the hospital. This is a sacred gift to hospital chaplains.
  5. The Pentatonix Christmas album I have been listening to.  

Morning by Morning (12/19/16)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The opportunity to do a follow up bone marrow transplant.  It means a lot that I can be of help to this one person whose only shot, not even guaranteed, stands with my matched cells.
  2. A good weekend of disc golf and being outside, although between Saturday and Sunday one couldn’t have more different weathers to play in.  But it was fun and relaxing and good to be with friends!
  3. The Elana and Ryan cute factor when they are dressed up in cold weather clothes.  They are precious and look real good in winter gear.
  4. Our dogs who are so patient and playful with Ryan.  He doesn’t hit them but he will lay over, tug, pull, climb, and generally smother our dogs and they are passive and appreciative of fun attention.

God Is. 

My daily gratitude today is also in the form of a prayer or pronouncement. I came across in reflection time.  It connected deeply with me in what I do with the gratitude posts: find God in ordinary moments as I do in extraordinary times.  I pray you are blessed and challenged as you read this today. And I pray that you find yourself declaring what “God Is” in your life!

GOD IS. God is light that kisses dark skies, signifying a new day has come.

God is kisses your spouse gives you in the morning, declaring God’s love is present and powerful. 

God is hugs you give your kids as you send them to new possibilities, to learn fresh lessons of faith.

God is strength within to help you rise in the morning to lead others to redemption, when rising is
sometimes difficult.

God is joy in sorrow, happiness in harassment.

God is triumph in the face of terror.

God is victory in spite of the vicissitudes of life.

God is. God is. God is.

Go with God.

– Valerie Bridgeman Davis and Safiyah Fosua.

(The Africana Worship Book: Year B
. Benediction by Joseph W. Daniels Jr., page 213 in The Africana Worship Book: Year B, edited by Valerie
Bridgeman Davis and Safiyah Fosua.)

Morning by Morning (12/14/16)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. A family and kid at the hospital who have really developed a relationship with me. The kid is a teenager who is deeply faithful, and her parents are open and honest about life and their deep love for their daughter and family.  Likely today, they are moving back a rehab close to home up north, and I will miss them and praying with them too.
  2. The baby shower for Audrey, a coworker with Family Advocacy.  Yesterday’s shower was beautiful and a wonderful celebration and welcome for her little baby girl, coming very soon!
  3. Henri Nouwen’s wisdom in his Advent book.  His short simple way of writing has been helpful in reframing each day for me (although truthfully I missed five days last week!).
  4. Communion every week. Many traditions don’t celebrate the Eucharist weekly, and one of the benefits of attending a Church of Christ is having to celebrate, remember, and be humbled at the Table every week.

Morning by Morning (12/13/16)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Giving gifts.  I just love finding good gifts for people! It probably is one of my top love languages for showing love. So Secret Santa time is great!
  2. A beautiful snowy looking real Christmas tree in our house.
  3. All the people doing all the roadwork for the new 288 toll roads.  Making a road seems simple and also annoying for me as a driver, but they  do good and hard work and I appreciate them for it.
  4. Good wine.  Enjoying cheap decent bottles most of the time at home reminds me of the good quality wine that is so delicious.